SIDNEY — This years’ participants in Relay for Life of Shelby County will be “Going for the Cure” in an Olympic-themed relay. The theme was revealed at Relay for Life’s kickoff event, held Tuesday evening at Sidney Moose Lodge. This year’s event will be held Aug. 7-8.
The theme was revealed after American Cancer Society Community Development Manager and RFL lead Kathy Milam announced that Relay for Life of Shelby County won the Nationwide Per Capita award through the American Cancer Society for their fundraising in 2019.
“We have to send a special thanks to Deb Kauffman and Patty Wood. They’re not here, but they were the co-leads last year,” Milam said. “They made this happen.”
Milam announced that there is still a need for positions in the Event Leadership Team in Entertainment and Activities, Event Lead, Logistics, Paint the Town, and that they need someone to chair the Survivors position.
She then announced the teams signed up to participate in the 2020 relay, which are A Team, A Family Affair, Cancer Crusaders, Chelsea’s Squad, Connection Point Church, Feathers of the Phoenix, Ferguson Construction Company, McCrate CPA, Team Rocky, and Sidney First United Methodist Church. A Team and Connection Point Church each hit the “Rising Star” level, raising $1,017 and $1,004 respectively.
Three sponsorships have been secured for the 2020 relay: a $500 Signature Sponsorship from the UPS Store, a $5,000 Gold Sponsorship from TAM 105.5, and a $10,000 Presenting Sponsorship from the Sidney Daily News.
“Cancer is something we simply can’t ignore,” Milam said. “Tonight we are here to talk about a disease that impacts millions of people each year. Cancer touches the lives of so many people close to us. In fact, the American Cancer Society estimates that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. That’s why we’re here; we’re trying to work hard to find a cure for this disease.”
Milam then asked all the survivors and caretakers in attendance to stand; each survivor and caretaker was given a “gold medal” in recognition of their fight against cancer.
“Your donation makes an impact and your generosity keeps us going,” Milam said. “Over the past 100 years, the American Cancer Society has been working relentlessly to end cancer. We’re not there yet, but with the help of our donors, we’ve made incredible progress.”
This progress includes $4.8B invested into cancer research since 1946, 480,000 free rides to treatment provided to cancer to patients, and 2.6M people surviving cancer since 1991.
Rhonda Pence, Missions Advocacy Chair for Relay for Life of Shelby County, spoke about the Ohio Capitol Day the ASC’s Cancer Action Network (CAN) is holding on May 14. CAN will go to the statehouse and talk to legislators and representatives about cancer funding. Those interested in attending must pre-register and can do so through CAN’s website.
“You also need to contact your legislators and congress representatives. Unfortunately, this is the third year in a row that they’ve tried to cut cancer funding. We need to stop them from doing that. If our funding is cut, they don’t research, and we don’t find a cure,” Pence said.
Pence also announced that CAN membership applications will be available next month for $10 a person.
“It’s just a way to let everyone know that we mean business,” Pence said. “We want the funding, we want legislation, we want them to stay on top of the word cancer.”
The evening began with a total of $3,210.36 having already been raised for the 2020 RFL. With the $1,214.50 raised at the kickoff, Shelby County’s total was raised to $4,424.86.
Milam said that this year’s goal is $130,000.
The next Relay for Life of Shelby County rally will be held Tuesday, March 24, and include a chili cook-off. Other rallies will be held on April 21, May 19, June 23 and July 14. All rallies will begin with a half-hour social at 6 p.m. and meeting at 6:30 p.m. and be held at the Sidney Moose Lodge, with the exception of the July 14 rally, which will be a walk-through at the fairgrounds.
For more information, contact Milam at Kathy.Milam@cancer.org.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.